Press Statement from Frances Fitzgerald MEP
Friday 25th June 2021
Ireland in line to get up to €120 million through EU Just Transition funding - Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald, MEP for Dublin and full member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, today (Friday) welcomed the European Parliament’s approval of the Just Transition Public Sector Loan Facility as a crucial tool for Ireland’s local authorities in delivering on the Just Transition. Ms. Fitzgerald was the lead negotiator on this Facility for the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament.
“Yesterday, MEPs gave a strong message of support for regions and communities all over the European Union who are facing severe socio-economic impacts from the transition to a climate neutral economy,” said Ms. Fitzgerald.
MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the EU’s Just Transition Public Sector Loan Facility on Thursday 24th June with 625 MEPs in favour, 39 against and 27 abstentions. This Facility is the one of the three pillars of the EU’s Just Transition Mechanism. It consists of a combination of €1.5 billion in grants and €10 billion of loans and aims to mobilise between €25-30 billion overall. The funding will be targeted directly towards public authorities. Ireland could be in line to receive up to €46 million through this Facility, however, funding will be delivered on a project by project basis. Ireland has also been allocated €77 million through the EU Just Transition Fund.
“With yesterday's vote on the EU Public Sector Loan Facility, we have the opportunity to mobilise up to €30 billion of funding across the EU. This is in addition to the €17.5 billion agreed for the EU Just Transition Fund and the €45 billion that is expected to be mobilised through the Just Transition Scheme of InvestEU,” Ms. Fitzgerald continued.
“With Ireland in line to get up to €120 million in EU Just Transition funding, we must prepare to invest this money efficiently and direct it towards sustainable employment for those who have lost their jobs.
“The midlands has been identified by the European Commission as one of those regions most affected by the climate transition. The closure of the ESB power stations in Lanesboro and Shannonbridge, and the ending of peat production at Bord na Móna’s Mountdillon bog, has had a huge impact on families who have worked there over the past 50 years. Huge uncertainty faces these workers and communities.
“We must live up to our promises to these communities that the transition will be just. It is only through proper support and funding that the Just transition can be successful for Ireland.
“Ireland now must put in prepare a Territorial Just Transition Plan, for approval by the European Commission, in order to secure access to its EU allocation of funding.
“The Just Transition is also about adapting our daily lives to the new climate reality. Therefore, investments must also focus on projects such as: the development of new renewable energy facilities, retrofitting of old buildings, restoration of land and ecosystems, protecting biodiversity and restoring natural habitats,” concluded Ms. Fitzgerald.